How to be a grug-brained dev

In this issue, you'll learn about:

  • What an Urbit dinner is like
  • What makes Vercel so great
  • The grug-brained dev
  • Announcing a project

I recently attended an Urbit dinner. I've been fairly active in the Stockholm Urbit community (or, as active as one can be with ~one meetup per month).

It's been a blast meeting these geniuses. Urbit people are not smart in the conventional sense. They're unconventional – fringe yet sociable.

Anyway, the dinner being a bit pricey, it filtered for more die-hard fans compared to the free meetups. Not only did these people write Hoon, they were doing it full-time for grants. It was the real deal, would recommend!

What makes Vercel so great?

Chipping away on my new side project (more on that below), it has once again become apparent to me how great Vercel is – including their wonderchild Next. So the question intrigued me; why is Vercel so great?

The tribe is certainly part of the answer. By proclaiming oneself a fan, one is in some sense passing an entrance exam to the community. But I don't think this is all.

Taking a look at Next, it has a meaningful value prop. It’s static/SSR, i.e. fast. And with its folder-based routing system, it’s idiot-proof and just works.

Lastly, the speed at which Vercel ships and improves is just impressive. Google tells me they're roughly 350 people which strikes me as refreshingly reasonable. Maybe applying Zucc-level scrutiny one can declare 50% of employees to be net negative, but that's less than 99% of big tech still.

The grug-brained dev

So I think this is the most entertaining yet wise piece of dev content – nay art – I've read this year. It's called The Grug Brained Developer and contains common-sense nuggets on how to survive as a software engineer.

Here are my takeaways on how to be a grug-brained dev:

  • recognize the enemy: complexity
    • big-brained developers fail to do this
  • learn to say no, an 80/20 solution will probably do
  • refactoring is good, but do it in manageable chunks
  • don't use microservices lol

Announcing a project

As mentioned in the previous issue, I've been building a new side project, and you are seeing its product now. It's a newsletter tool for developers. Check it out if you're into writing.

Hey friend, I'm Gus

Hey friend, I'm Gus

I'm a self-taught web engineer.

Here I share my best lessons on how to navigate the information age as a dev. Get it straight to your inbox: